How well do you sleep? In the UK, four out of five of us will suffer from sleep problems at some point in their lives, with 30% tangling with fully-fledged insomnia, either chronically or as an isolated incident.
Lots of things can contribute to sleep problems, including diet, general health and, of course, stress. While sometimes there’s not much we can do to control certain areas of our lives, we can take control of our sleep environment – our bedrooms.
A room that’s too hot or too cold, an uncomfortable bed, too much noise – everything can contribute to a poor night’s sleep. We’ve put together a list of simple changes you can make to help improve your chances of a good night – and you’ll end up with a revamped bedroom, as well!
This Oakville bedside cabinet, £199 from Atkin and Thyme, is perfect for keeping small items out of sight.
A cramped, cluttered sleeping space can actually contribute to an uneasy night! If you’ve got wardrobes that won’t shut properly, piles of shoes on the floor and so many things on your dressing table you can’t see the surface, it might be time to have a clear out. Bag up whatever you don’t need and take it to a charity shop, and think about installing some extra storage.
2. Upgrade your bed
This New England white wooden ottoman storage bed from Sleep Sanctuary, £399 from Time4Sleep, provides a useful storage solution for items in occasional use as well as a good night’s sleep.
Arouca bed linen from Urbanara has a fresh blue and white Navajo-inspired pattern and is made from 100% cotton. Prices start at £12 for a pillowcase.
A saggy, lumpy or thin mattress is one of the fastest ways to a restless night. According to the British Sleep Council, you should change your mattress every eight years, but this will depend a little on how often you rotate it and how you sleep. Pillows and duvets should be washed or cleaned every six months and changed once a year or so. Now look at the bed itself – if it has a headboard and footboard, it might be preventing you from stretching out comfortably. Old bedframes may creak and squeak as you turn over, as well, upsetting your slumber. Finally, investing in some fresh new bedlinen will help your bedroom feel like the sanctuary it should be.
While it’s possible to get used to regular background noise such as rumbling traffic, sudden noises such as sirens or shouting tend to upset our sleep rhythms. While it may not be enough to actually wake you up, you may become restless and wake feeling un-refreshed. Start by installing thick, noise-muffling blinds or curtains lined with interlining for maximum noise reduction. If you don’t already have it, consider double or secondary glazing. Finally and most cheaply, you can sleep in noise-cancelling earplugs – these take a little getting used to, but are worth it for a good night’s sleep.
Particularly during the summer, lighter mornings mean we tend to wake up before we want to. Counteract cheeky sunbeams with blackout blinds or curtains, and sleep in a sleep mask.
This cobalt wool throw, £69 from Tolly McRae, is ideal for layering on beds.
Rooms that are too hot or too cold can stop us from sleeping. It’s best to have your bedroom on the cool side, around 18 degrees, and pile a couple of throws on the bed if you get a little chilly. Don’t have the room too cold, though, as this can promote restless and unpleasant dreams! Have your window open to air the room during the evening, then close it when you go to bed to help control noise and regulate temperature.0